‘Marcos adds spice to VP contest’
THE entry of Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the vice presidential race next year will spice up the contest in that sector, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said Sunday.
“The entry of Senator Bongbong will add spice to the vice presidential race, making it equally exciting as the fight for the presidency,” Romualdez said.
“But let’s see the final alignments next week. Surely, Senator Bongbong will push for true reforms toward the genuine achievement of inclusive growth that will benefit the poorest of the poor.”
Romualdez is the leader of the House’s independent bloc, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats political party, and president of the Philippine Constitutional Association.
“He [Marcos] brings excellent credentials to the vice presidential post after acquiring a great deal of experience as a local executive and legislator, being a former congressman, governor and currently senator,” Romualdez said.
Misamis Occidental Rep. Jorge Almonte also believes Marcos’ declaration to run for vice president will make the race more interesting.
“Definitely, it will add flavor to the contest. It should be noted that in our jurisdiction, the plurality of votes do make a candidate win,” Almonte said.
Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, head of the ruling Liberal Party’s organizing and membership committee, said Marcos’ candidacy, backed by former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, and Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile will affect the votes of the United Nationalist Alliance and the camp of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero.
“The entry of Senator Marcos will definitely affect the ranks of both UNA and the Poe-Chiz tandem since Erap [Estrada] and Enrile are supporting Bongbong. Their ranks are now in disarray while the administration remains solid,” Treñas said.
Meanwhile, Romualdez welcomed the P1-billion budget allocation in the national budget for the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome cases.
“The P1.08-billion budget against HIV/AIDS for 2016 should be taken as a signal to everybody that the situation is getting serious. This budget would definitely help battle HIV-AIDS,” Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas said.
Senator Ralph Recto said the P1.08-billion budget to combat HIV/AIDS in 2016 will finance the treatment and testing of 35,000 confirmed and suspected cases.